Detroit Lions have a great deal of work to do next week

Detroit Lions (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Detroit Lions (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

With the NFL free agency period kicking off soon, the Detroit Lions have a lot of work to do in the coming days to prepare their roster for 2020.

According to NFL Operations, any NFL team including the Detroit Lions can begin negotiations with free-agent players on Monday, March 16th and begin actually signing them to contracts on the 18th after 4 p.m. New York time.

The 2020 salary cap has yet to be determined, but it is believed it will be at least $200 million per team. If you want to brush up on the estimated salary cap will take you through it all.

On top of the amount set by the NFL (and agreed upon by the NFLPA, also known as the players union) each team will have adjustments from the year before that can increase or decrease the amount of salary cap they have to work with. The Lions are believed to have approximately $18,009,533 in unused salary cap space from 2019 that will be carried over into 2020.

The Lions have already made a few moves in 2020, most involving their own players. On Friday, offensive tackle Rick Wagner was cut saving another $6.1 million in salary-cap space, it was a potential move I wrote about last month. With the moves and the carryover, while still guessing on the total cap per team number, it appears the Lions will have a little over $53 million to work with.

The other NFC North teams; Green Bay Packer, Minnesota Vikings, and the Chicago Bears are sitting at an estimated available cap of $28 million, $20.7 million, and $13.5 million respectively. Despite the Lions leading the division in salary cap space, there are still 11 teams in the NFL with more space yet.

The impulse to spend all the available cap in free agency is always tempting, but the Lions have a number of players on the last year of their contracts (click on 2021 tab once there) that they will likely want to extend before the year is over, so a hefty portion of the cap will likely be set aside to do that.

There are two more parts of the cap the Lions will also want to set aside. One is the rookie pool (2020 draft picks) and the other is for use during the season for replacement players as the need arises. The actual amounts for these two things are also not yet set, and actually would change depending on what happens over the next few months.

After parsing all that down and looking at the moves (or lack thereof) that the Lions have made so far, it seems to me that they will be looking for perhaps some right guard and right tackle help on the offense as well as some defensive tackle help on the defensive side at a minimum.  Oh, and let’s not forget special teams, the Lions may not be re-signing their starting punter, Sam Martin.

Next. Top 5 former Lions who won a Super Bowl after leaving Detroit. dark

One way or another though, the Detroit Lions have a great deal of work to do next week, as long as free agency starts on schedule.